HeidelbergCement & Cemex violate intl. law because of mining in occupied Palestinian territory, says Electronic Intifada

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Article
1 June 2015

Decision to exclude from investment HeidelbergCement and Cemex

Author: KLP

 …KLP and the KLP Funds have decided to exclude the companies HeidelbergCement and Cemex from their investment portfolios with effect from 1 June 2015.Through its subsidiaries, the companies HeidelbergCement and Cemex operate quarries in Area C of the West Bank, an area under complete Israeli civilian and military control. The companies pay licence fees and royalties to the state of Israel. It is not clear how Israel uses these funds. The products deriving from the quarries are sold primarily for use in Israel’s domestic construction market. In a letter published through the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, Cemex confirms that its subsidiary Lime & Stone is engaged in a joint venture with Kfar Giladi Quarries, and that the latter operates the Yatir quarry…

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Author: Adri Nieuwhof, Electronic Intifada

En mayo, The Electronic Intifada documentó la extracción y el transporte ilegales de materiales de construcción desde las canteras de Yatir y Nahal Raba en la Cisjordania ocupada hasta Israel. El Business & Human Rights Resource Centre en Londres publicó el artículo e invitó a CEMEX y a Heidelberg Cement a hacer declaraciones al respecto. Heidelberg Cement eligió el silencio, pero CEMEX trató de deslindarse de su complicidad en las violaciones del derecho internacional que comete el Estado de Israel...CEMEX afirma que la Administración Civil de Judea y Samaria emitió los permisos y recibe las regalías por las actividades en la cantera de Yatir; sin embargo, este acuerdo viola el derecho internacional...Israel está obligado a observar las reglamentaciones de La Haya que datan de 1907...[El] abogado israelí Shlomy Zachary...observó: “Cisjordania no es Israel y las leyes aplicables ahí son distintas”...“La petición de Yesh Din argumenta la ilegalidad de todo el mecanismo y los permisos para hacer excavaciones en estas tierras. Por ende, todo acto cometido mediante permisos ilegales puede suponerse igualmente ilegal”. [se refiere también a Veolia] [El Centro de Información sobre Empresas y Derechos Humanos invitó a Cemex a responder a esta nueva réplica. Cemex no lo ha hecho, pero colgaremos su respuesta acá si la recibimos en el futuro].

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Author: Adri Nieuwhof, Electronic Intifada

En qualité d’occupant Israël est tenu par les Conventions de La Haye de 1907...[L]'article 55..."interdit le gaspillage ou la destruction par négligence de l’essentiel des ressources résultant de l’extraction exagérée de pierres ou de tout autre exploitation abusive ne satisfaisant pas aux règles du bon usage"...CEMEX réaffirme que les entreprises de transport en question satisfont à toutes les exigences juridiques requises. La firme constate que d’après les accords d’Oslo les usines "se trouvent dans des territoires placés sous le contrôle et la responsabilité d’Israël tant qu’un accord définitif n’a pas été conclu entre les parties". Commentaire de Zachary [l’avocat israélien] : "Mais le pays lui-même ainsi que la zone C sont toujours sous occupation et surtout les lois en vigueur dans les territoires occupés sont celles des pays sous occupation, qui incluent l’article 55 des Conventions de La Haye. Les autres accords éventuels entre les parties n’y changent rien et ne peuvent ni invalider ni remplacer le droit international relatif à l’occupation." [Fait également référence à Veolia. Nous avons invité Cemex à répondre à cette dernière déclaration de l'Electronic Intifada ; l'entreprise n'y a pas répondu.]

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Article
19 August 2011

CEMEX tries to reason away complicity in Israeli violations of international law

Author: Adri Nieuwhof, Electronic Intifada

As the occupier, Israel is bound by the Hague Regulations of 1907...CEMEX claims that the plants have “all the permits and licenses necessary according to applicable laws”...[and that they] are in “areas under the control and responsibility of Israel, until a permanent agreement is reached between the parties”. Zachary’s [Israeli attorney's] comment: “But the land for itself and the land in area C are still under occupation, and first and foremost the laws governing the area are the laws of occupation, including Article 55 of the Hague Regulations. The fact that there are other agreements between the parties does not matter and cannot nullify the international laws of occupation or to substitute them." [also refers to Veolia] [Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Cemex to respond to this rejoinder. Cemex has not done so, but if they send us a response in future we will post it here].

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Company non-response
29 June 2011

HeidelbergCement did not respond to: HeidelbergCement accused of violating intl. law, OECD Guidelines, UN Global Compact - mining activities said to infringe on Palestinians' rights to self-determination.

Company response
28 June 2011

Cemex response re alleged violations of international law and contravention of codes of conduct and conventions regulating the activities of multinational corporations

Author: Cemex

The operations of CEMEX, including those in Israel strictly comply with all relevant legal requirements and are focused on our core business of producing and selling building materials. As a commercial enterprise we are not involved in any political process and we do not express a political stance on any subject whatsoever...[T]he territories in which the...quarry operate were defined in the interim agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed in Oslo in 1993, as areas under the control and responsibility of Israel, until a permanent agreement is reached between the parties. Therefore, these activities are compatible with the applicable, international and local laws as well as with the existing agreement between Israel and the PLO, which received the recognition of the international community. [also refers to RMC Group (now part of Cemex)]

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Article
17 June 2011

Multinational companies mining occupied Palestinian land

Author: Adri Nieuwhof, Electronic Intifada

HeidelbergCement and Cemex, two building materials industries from Germany and Mexico, respectively, are involved in the operation of quarries in the occupied West Bank...International law prohibits Israel’s exploitation of natural resources in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and Syrian Golan Heights for its own benefit. Meanwhile, Israeli run-quarries in the West Bank — including Nahal Raba and Yatir quarries, which are operated by subsidiaries of HeidelbergCement and Cemex — supply almost a quarter of Israel’s construction material...The involvement of...HeidelbergCement and Cemex in the plundering of the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights’ natural resources are not only in violation of international law, but also contravene commitments to codes of conduct and conventions which regulate the activities of multinational corporations. [Also refers to Hanson Israel (part of HeidelbergCement), ReadyMix Industries (part of Cemex). Business & Human Rights Resource Centre also invited HeidelbergCement to respond but it declined to do so.]

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